For those who are counting, it has been 22 years and six instalments in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Each one manages to ramp up the stunts and adds to the ever-expanding world of the IMF (Impossible Missions Force) and the life of Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise). Even though five different directors have made their stamp on the valued property from Paramount Studios, the credit for its success remains on the shoulders of its star, Tom Cruise. Regardless of audience opinions of this Hollywood icon, credit must go out to his commitment to this character and the unique take on the world of espionage. The question remains of which will run out first, the ability to reinvent this franchise or Tom Cruise’s ability to recover from these life-threatening stunts?
Since the apprehension of Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) and the demise of the Syndicate, a new terrorist threat called The Apostles has had the world hostage with new levels of chaos. During a botched exercise to infiltrate this network and to stop the purchase of plutonium for the use of mobile nuclear devices, Ethan and his team must find the head of this organisation before they unleash death and destruction on the world.
With Benji (Simon Pegg) and Luther (Ving Rhames) working with him and the addition of CIA assassin, Tom Walker (Henry Cavill), the team head to Paris to get the radioactive cargo and find the answers to determine the identity of the man behind this new band of anarchists. Upon arrival at the rendezvous point with the White Widow (Vanessa Kirby), they are intercepted by Elsa (Rebecca Ferguson) who warns them to avoid this assignment. They ignore the British agent’s warning, the team engages the threat head-on. It is at this point that the IMF team comes to the realisation that they are the target of the operation and that the CIA and others hope to put the blame onto Ethan and his crew for all of the terrorist events around the world.
Even with the familiarity of the multiple plot twists and turns, more chase scenes than most other action franchises combined and the ever-present disguises, director Christopher McQuarrie (Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation) and crew have managed to add to the franchise and deliver a dynamic and hard-hitting film that will make audiences want more. Despite holding onto many of the predictable elements of the franchise, this story capitalises on the multiple twists from the past 12 years and then adds in some fantastic stunts for good measure.
Even with the inexplicable exit of Jeremy Renner from the team, the core of this ensemble continues to maintain chemistry that is contagious and entertaining. What differentiates this chapter from the others is the humanity of Hunt and how they manage to string the story along with more action than anyone film should deserve. By including Michelle Monaghan as Ethan’s wife in the script, it provides a level of heart and emotion that lifts this franchise above the Bourne or Bond franchises, showing how the lead spy cares as much for the needs of his family and the team as he does for the needs of the world.
The other aspect of this screenplay that works well is the villainous element. A key to making this tale of espionage intriguing and due to the moral fluidity amongst the various agencies involved, it is difficult to know who wears the black hat in this story until the end, which adds to the story more than taking away from it.
Is Mission: Impossible Fallout the best of the franchise? That will remain to be seen throughout history, but one thing can be said, this franchise continues to have a life of its own and will warrant another sequel. This is hands down, one of the best action films in years and should be experienced in cinemas.
REEL DIALOGUE: Sacrifice: career before everything else?
A driving element of the script is the sacrifice that Ethan Hunt and his team have to take in doing all they do to save the world. Everything from their physical well-being to relationships is depicting in this chapter of the franchise. By showing all they have to give up in life provides a humanity and nobility to the work these people experience in the fictitious world of espionage.
Within the realities of life, jobs, and personal relationships, it is worth considering what sacrifices we all are willing to make for the sake of career or country. Audience members may not have to make decisions that impact the lives of millions of people, but everyday does present different decisions that may impact your family, friends and co-workers. How do you determine the line of how much of you are willing to forgo for the sake of moving ahead at work or getting a project online?
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” – Romans 12:1
This is a bigger query that can be extrapolated in a film review, but a good place to begin this journey is to consider a biblical perspective on the sacrifice. The God of the Bible gives us the example of Jesus to show us how to live a daily existence, regardless of the challenges, temptations and difficulties. Also, these words help us to deal with the extreme and the mundane situations.
Reel Dialogue’s ranking of the franchise – Best to worst
- Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol
- Mission: Impossible Fallout
- Mission: Impossible II
- Mission: Impossible
- Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
- Mission: Impossible III
What do you think? How would you rank Ethan Hunt and the teams years of saving the world?
Trailer for the film